Focus - Hocus Pocus: The Best of...(1994) (Remaster Edit 2001)

Focus - Hocus Pocus: The Best of...(1994) (Remaster Edit 2001)

Reissue of 1994 compilation for the Dutch progressive rock act best known for their 1973 hit single 'Hocus Pocus', featured here alongside 15 other tracks (16 in all) including the U.S. single version of 'Hocus Pocus'. 2001 release. Standard jewel case.

Has it really been over 30 years since this terrific group of musicians from Holland scored a huge success with their "Moving Waves" album, and the highly original signature tune, "Hocus Pocus" ? Time flies--but, in the case of Focus, time has been kind--their music still sounds fresh, melodic and exciting.
The band went through some personnel changes, but the key members were Thijs Van Leer ( keyboards, flute, vocals ), and guitar whiz, Jan Akkerman. I have fond memories of seeing them live in Montreal--an awesome concert.
This CD is an excellent retrospecive of their most memorable numbers. Their music was primarily instrumental,and "progressive" in the most positive sense. The "focus" here--if you'll pardon the pun--was on musicianship--these guys could really play. I suspect Akkerman and Van Leer might have had some classical training in their youth. All their well-known numbers are included--"Harem Scarem", "Sylvia", "Janis" and two different versions of "Hocus Pocus". The 70s was an era where bands flourished who had only the most talented musicians. Later, progressive rock groups were often labelled pretentious--usually by critics who could only appreciate three-chord boogies ! Well--this "pretentious" music gave us some of the most incredible musicians rock has ever had--Steve Howe, Tony Banks, Keith Emerson, Dave Gilmour, Phil Manzanera, Robert Fripp, Daryl Way and--yes--Jan Akkerman. When I hear some of the junk that is selling today, I don't know whether to laugh or cry !
OK--I'm off my soapbox ! Bottom line--Focus were easily one of the best 70s bands, and this CD is a worthy compilation. Recommended...P. Kanata

"Hocus Pocus: The Best Of Focus" is an excellent reptrospective of this underrated progressive rock band. Focus was a number of "Best New Band" awards form music magazines in 1972. The lynch pins of the band were guitarist Jan Akkerman and keyboardist/flutist Thijs Van Leer. The muscianship is excellent and the songs are predominantly instrumental. Their best known song "Hocus Pocus" appears twice in full-length lp version and single version. The song contains a mixture of heavy riffing guitar via Akkerman and some unexpected yodeling interludes. "House Of The King" sounds a little like an early period Jethro Tull outtake as Van Leer plays his flute in the same style as Ian Anderson on the track. Songs like "Anonymous" and "Harem Scarem" feature some great playing by Akkerman as his style varies from metallic riffing to more of a jazz fusion style. He was also adept at more low key playing such as on the tracks like "Janis". Other catchy tracks include "Tommy" and "Sylvia". The combination of guitar, keyboards and flute is both interesting and effective. The music mixes rock, jazz and classical to form a great symphonic progressive rock hybrid. Highly recommended for progressive rock fans!...J. E. Fell


- Jan Akkerman / guitar
- Thijs Van Leer / keyboard, flute, vocals
- Colin Allen / drums
- Hans Eric Cleuver / drums
- Martin Dresden / bass
- Cyril Havermanns / bass
- David Kemper / bass
- Bert Ruiter / bass
- Pierre VanDer Linden / drums

320 @
176 MB
Genre :Prog. Rock


01. Hocus Pocus (6:42)
02. Anonymus (6:36)
03. House of the King (2:52)
04. Focus [instrumental] (9:49)
05. Janis (3:10)
06. Focus II (4:05)
07. Tommy (Eruption) (3:27)
08. Sylvia (3:33)
09. Focus III (6:09)
10. Harem Scarem (5:53)
11. Mother Focus (3:07)
12. Focus IV (4:01)
13. Bennie Helder (3:33)
14. Glider (4:40)
15. Red Sky at Night (5:49)
16. Hocus Pocus [US Single Version] (3:24)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks Samantha (& 2000mustands)! /bon